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July 14, 2009

ABC streamlines trade exhibition attendance reporting

Following consultation with the industry, auditing body ABC has simplified its trade exhibition rules to reduce the complexity of the audit process. It also claims the new reporting standards “emphasise the unique attendance at trade exhibitions and make it easier for organisers to report their attendance figures”.
The main changes to the Certificate of Attendance are:
– The Total Attendance figure will now be called Total Unique Attendance
– The Total Unique Attendance will be analysed in just two categories, Visitor Attendance and Exhibitor Attendance
– The requirement to provide registration information to support Total Unique Attendance has been removed. All organisers will have to supply to ABC is the attendance list, which identifies whether an individual has been claimed as a visitor or exhibitor, while ABC will increase its audit testing direct with exhibition attendees
– Organisers will, as an option, be able to report repeat visits if required.
– The current requirement for exhibition organisers to break out Transfer Visitors has been removed.
ABC claims that the new reporting standards “ensure that the detail on certificates remains of maximum use to exhibitors and organisers, while simplifying and speeding up the audit process”.

It is anticipated that the streamlined audit, cutting out registration testing at bureaus, will help organisers save both time and money. It should be noted that while the simplification of the reporting of attendance also applies to Profile Certificates of Attendance, the requirement for registration testing to support analysed demographics is retained as part of the audit process.

The new reporting standards will apply to shows ending from 1 September 2009.
“The changes to the reporting standards ensure that, not only the reporting of attendance figures and audit processes are efficient and robust, but also that they closely reflect the evolving needs of the industry,” said Jan Pitt, ABC's director of exhibitions.
“ABC’s experience in this and other sectors is that exhibitors and sponsors are often unwilling to ‘take attendance figures on trust’ – those organisers that provide their customers with independent proof of their figures rightly gain competitive advantage.”

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